The Oakland Athletics enter the 2011 MLB Draft with the No. 18 pick in the first round. The A's farm system has produced some excellent young starting and relief pitching. Trevor Cahill is actually the only one of the new Big Thre that was drafted by the A's, while Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez were acquired via trades with the Diamondbacks and White Sox respectively. The other big name pitcher from the draft is closer Andrew Bailey.
On offense, Cliff Pennington and Kurt Suzuki were both A's draft picks. Daric Barton and Mark Ellis were acquired via trade but sufficiently developed with the A's. Beyond that, the A's farm system has struggled to produce in recent years. A look at their first round picks shows how much of a struggle there has been to get production out of the farm system. A team needs to hit on more than their first round picks, but when you're striking out with such regularity at the top of the draft, there are going to be problems.
Here is a quick rundown of the A's first round picks since the turn of the century, with their current team and brief statistics. The A's have a chance to get some impact players up to Oakland soon. We'll see if the A's can get some kind of consistent offense from one of these guys soon.
2010 - Michael Choice - A+ Stockton Ports - .250/.347/.486
2009 - Grant Green - AA Midland Rockounds - .289/.346/.381
2008 - Jemile Weeks - AAA Sacramento Rivercats - .324/.419/.453
2007 - James Simmons - MIA - I think he's hurt but can't figure out for sure
2005 - Clifton Pennington - Oakland Athletics (starting shortstop) - .262/.316/.348
2004 - Landon Powell - Oakland Athletics (backup catcher) - .204/.278/.265
- Richie Robnett - Last seen playing in 2010 for the Atlantic League's Camden Riversharks
2003 - Bradley Sullivan - Out of baseball
- Bryan Snyder - Out of baseball
2002 - John McCurdy - Out of baseball
- Joseph Blanton - Philadelphia Phillies - 1-2, 5.50 ERA, 1.57 WHIP (on 15-day DL)
- Ben Fritz - Last seen pitching in 2010 for the Atlantic League's Lancaster Barnstormers
- Nick Swisher - New York Yankees - .213/.339/.331
2001 - Jeremy Bonderman - Out of baseball
- Bobby Crosby - Out of baseball
We'll be here for the next three days covering the 2011 MLB Draft. For more in-depth discussion about the Oakland A's head to Athletics Nation. For more general minor league and draft discussion, check out Minor League Ball and Baseball Nation.